|Associate head coach Kate Paye and head coach Tara VanDerveer exhort the players against Cal.|
The Cardinal dominated the Golden Bears in almost statistical category before a loud crowd of 4,066. It included some Cal fans, its band and cheerleaders but no mascot to bow to the Tree.
Cal’s star senior forward, Kristine Anigwe, scored a game-high 20 points, but only eight of them came from baskets. The rest were at the free-throw line where she was 12 for 16.
She fouled out with just over two minutes left. One of those fouls was an unsportsmanlike call about halfway through the second quarter.
On the other hand, no Stanford player fouled out, and three were in double figures. Junior guard DiJonai Carrington and sophomore guard Kiana Williams had 19 each while senior forward Alanna Smith had 16. All three were starters.
|Maya and Nadia share a laugh in the locker room.|
Maya returns to action
The home crowd had something else to celebrate as sophomore forward Maya Dodson returned to action and the starting lineup at home after missing eight games with a foot injury. She also had played at Cal.
At Stanford she contributed nine points, four of the team’s 41 rebounds, three of its five blocks and one of its 14 assists in 21 minutes.
|Shannon had four of the team's 14 assists.|
Leading the way in assists were Kiana and senior center Shannon Coffee with four each.
The other starter was freshman forward Lacie Hull, who had three of the team’s six steals to go with five points, seven rebounds and one assist.
Stanford never trails
Stanford led the entire game, starting with a sizzling first quarter that ended 22-5. By the half, the lead had ballooned to 20 and rose to 56-31 after the third.
The team’s final 75 points included 24 from eight 3s: three each by Kiana and DiJonai and one each by Lacie and her twin sister, Lexie.
In this hard-fought game, action stopped twice as referees reviewed plays. The crowd wasn’t always pleased with the officiating overall, booing lustily several times.
In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, outstanding achievements in several Stanford women’s sports were highlighted on the video board.
Women’s championship volleyball team honored
Appearing in person, the women’s volleyball team received a standing ovation as it displayed its eighth NCAA national championship trophy. The softball team also appeared as it prepares for its season to open soon.
After the game, Maya joined associate head coach Kate Paye to start a Behind the Bench.
“That was a great bounce-back win for our team,” Kate said. As for Maya, “She’s going to get better and better,” the coach said.
Maya, who said her foot is “getting better every day,” said she’s thinking about majoring in engineering. Right now her hardest class is physics, where she had a mid-term coming up during the next week.
Kate concluded by saying the team was much more aggressive at this game and got “a lot of help off the bench.”
Joining the gathering, head coach Tara VanDerveer agreed that the team played better this time. The win “sets us up confidence-wise for our next games,” she said.
|Maya, next to Lacie, gets a high five from a team mate as the team celebrates.|
Tara likes the players’ camaraderie
Answering a fan, she said her favorite part of coaching is “how well they get along” and support each other. “They’re really good people.”
Asked about the two injured players, she said that senior guard Marta Sniezek, who hasn’t played all season because of a hand injury, is working hard. As for her return to action, “we’ll have to wait and see,” Tara said.
She added that Marta might qualify for a red shirt.
Junior forward Nadia Fingall, who has a torn left ACL, will have surgery soon. “She’s a great teammate,” Tara said, adding that both Marta and Nadia are “all about the team being successful.”
Coming up next are two more home games. Oregon State will visit at 6 p.m. Feb. 8, and Oregon will visit at 1 p.m. Feb. 10. The Oregon State game will be on the Pac 12 Network, while ESPN will televise the Oregon game.
Photos by Don Feria/ISI Photos.com